Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Submission + - What happened to UI? Who are the people who approve modern UI?

Artem Tashkinov writes: Here are the staples of the modern user interface (in varying degree apply to modern web/and most operating systems like Windows 10, iOS and even Android):
  • Too much white space, huge margins, too little information
  • Text is indistinguishable from controls
  • Text in CAPS
  • Certain controls cannot be easily understood (like on/off states for check boxes or elements like tabs)
  • Everything presented in shades of gray or using a severely and artificially limited palette
  • Often awful fonts suitable only for HiDPI devices (Windows 10 modern apps are a prime example)
  • Cannot be controlled by keyboard
  • Very little customizability if any

How would Slashdotters explain the proliferation and existance of such unusable user interfaces and design choices?

Submission + - "Artificial Intelligence" was the Fake News of 2016

Artem Tashkinov writes: The Register argues that the AI hype in 2016 was just that, a hype. The definition of AI was stretched out of limits to encompass what basically is very advanced algorithms for harvesting and processing data. Various intelligent assistants, such as Google Assistent and Siri, are at best a nicely looking and sounding interface to search engines. Of course, speech and images recognition has become much better but the doom and gloom of millions of people losing their jobs to AI haven't materialized yet and it's not immediately obvious that the prediction will hold any sway in the nearest future.

Submission + - Weapons of Math Destruction Author: Models are Opinions Embedded in Math (latimes.com)

dangle writes: The LA Times has an interview with "Weapons of Math Destruction" author Cathy O'Neil discussing her concerns about the social consequences of ill-considered mathematical modeling. She discusses the example of a NYC Department of Education algorithm designed to grade school teachers that no one outside of the coders had access to. "The Department of Education did not know how to explain the scores that they were giving out to teachers," she observes. "...(T)he very teachers whose jobs are on the line don’t understand how they’re being evaluated. I think that’s a question of justice. Everyone should have the right to know how they’re being evaluated at their job," she argues. Another example discussed is a Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services risk-modeling algorithm developed by SAS to score children according to their risk of being abused so that social workers can better target their efforts. Depending on the ethical considerations, such an algorithm could intentionally overweight factors such as income or ethnicity in a way that could tip the balance between right to privacy and protection of abused minors one way or another. "I want to separate the moral conversations from the implementation of the data model that formalizes those decisions. I want to see algorithms as formal versions of conversations that have already taken place," she concludes.

Submission + - Bullying in the workplace (macinations.net) 14

BigBadBus writes: We've all been involved with companies that, to one extent or another, exerted pressure to get "that crucial release" done in time. But how many companies have you been involved with that used unacceptable bullying tactics to push their workforce beyond acceptable limits? I was, and it was disgusting, all for the sake of a few extra dollars on their balance sheet. We should stand up to these bullies. What can be done?

Submission + - The Wall Street Journal - subscription not require (blorge.com)

secretsather writes: "The Wall Street Journal — subscription not required

I simply love to see stories on the Internet that link to the Wall Street Journal; you'll always get that "subscription required" message, usually in parenthesis, after the link. Even going to the Wall Street Journal website and clicking on the recent stories usually results in a 30 word "FREE PREVIEW" article — as if they're doing us a favor. But with everything, there are always exceptions; we've found a way to access the Journal's content without paying the annual $79 for a subscription.

You'd think the advertisements on the WSJ web page would provide enough funding to allow visitors to read for free. Even after members pay for subscription, they're still stricken with advertisements above, next to, and below the page's content.

Despite the WSJ's efforts to keep non-subscribers from accessing its content, they simply can't say no to Google. The WSJ, as the majority of the Internet, rely on Google to bring in search traffic.

Call it bad SEO, but you're average reader on the WSJ does not see what Google sees, for Google gets free access. This is most likely due to the WSJ wanting Google to index the entire page, as opposed to a few teaser words.

Take a look at a WSJ article URL when you normally navigate to a page:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118493224469472948 .html?mod=home_whats_news_us

Specifically, we're looking at the "mod=home_whats_news_us" part. Now if we just happened to navigate to the same story from Google News, our URL has changed to:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118493224469472948 .html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Notice the "mod=googlenews_wsj" part. However, simply changing the URL to reflect the second URL above is not enough to provide free access; the referring URL must come from news.google.com.

You can get by this one of two ways.

1. You can perform a Google News search using the article's title or first paragraph as the query.

2. You can use a developers toolbar to edit the HTML on a Google News page.

Number one is simple; you can usually just search Google News for the headline of the article you want to read, get the results, and click the link. You're done.

Although, this approach is not 100% because, strangely enough, the Wall Street Journal will sometimes feed Google a different headline than its subscribers will see. You may want to try and search for the "free preview's" first one or two lines of text.

The second method is a bit more complicated, but has never failed me to date. You just take the URL of the article you want to see — for instance:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118493224469472948 .html?mod=home_whats_news_us

replace the "mod=home_whats_news_us" with "mod=googlenews_wsj" to get:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118493224469472948 .html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Now comes the tricky part. You'll need to go to the Google News page and edit the href on an tag to reflect the modified URL.

I use the plug-in Firebug (for Firefox) to do this; although, any developer toolbar which allows you to edit code on the page will work just fine.

We'll just take one random link on the Google News page:


View the Source:


Finally, Place the modified URL in-between the quotes after href=
to look like:

After modifying the HTML, you can click the link you selected and it will take you to the full version of the article. This method tricks the Wall Street Journal's system into thinking that Google is the referrer, thus showing the full article and saving you $79 per year. Enjoy."

Slashdot Top Deals

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. -- Weisert